Super Rugby

Bulls beat Lions in Johannesburg




The Bulls have won their last two Super Rugby games against the Lions after having won only one of their last seven games against them (L6).

The last time the Bulls won more in succession against the Lions was a nine-game streak from 2007 to 2014.

  • The Lions ran out to a 61-31 win over the Griquas in their last Super Rugby Unlocked game and will now hunt for back-to-back wins across all Super Rugby competitions for the first time since May 2019.
  • The Lions have made more clean breaks (13) and more offloads (10) per game than any other team in Super Rugby Unlocked.
  • The Bulls boast a lineout success rate of 95% in Super Rugby Unlocked, the highest of any team; indeed, they have lost fewer than one lineout on their own throw per game this season.
  • Wandisile Simelane (Lions) made four try assists in Round 4 of Super Rugby Unlocked, more than any other player has made throughout the entire campaign; indeed, no player has made more try assists in a Super Rugby game in the last decade.
  • The Bulls top Super Rugby

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Johannesburg.

3.00: PENALTY! Elton Jantjies opens the scoring for the home team. 3-0

5.00: Bulls putting pressure on the Lions, but the visitors turn over the ball from a charged down kick, and the Lions counter-attack.

6.00: Sti Sithole gets caught offsides at the ruck. Morné Steyn calls for the tee.

7.00: PENALTY! Steyn levels from in front. 3-3

9.00: The Lions forwards carry the ball up before Jantjies’ cross-kick flies into touch for a Bulls lineout on the home side’s 22.

11.00: Ruben Schoeman is offsides, which allows Steyn to kick to the corner.

13.00: Schoeman is pinged for lifting the legs of an opponent in the maul. Bulls go for another lineout.

14.00: TRY! A powerful driving maul cannot be stopped by the Lions forwards. Joe van Zyl flops over the whitewash. 3-8

15.00: CONVERSION! Steyn adds the extras. 3-10

17.00: Bulls claim a mark. David Kriel boots the ball to halfway.

19.00: The Bulls are dominating both territory (62%) and possession (78%). Ivan van Zyl’s men cannot get any decent attacks going and it’s hurting the home team.

21.00: Steyn clears the danger after the Lions lost possession inside the Bulls half.

23.00: Trevor Nyakane slips, collapsing the scrum – penalty to the hosts. Jantjies boots the ball to the Bulls 5m.

24.00: Another lost lineout by Van Zyl’s forwards, this is very poor.

25.00: TRY! Burger Odendaal dives before the goal-line and the wet grass carries him over in the corner. The score came from patient build-up, using pick-and-drives. Eventually, the ball was sent through the hands and the centre scored. 8-10

27.00: MISS! Gianni Lombard’s conversion shaves the up-right but does not go inside. 8-10

30.00: The Lions have fought back well, they are going through more phases; however, the Bulls’ defence is strong.

34.00: The Bulls’ lineout is starting to malfunction; the humidity is taking its toll.

36.00: A big scrum by the Lions allows them to exit their half, but another Jantjies cross-kick does not go to hand. Lions had the penalty-advantage from the scrum. Jantjies bangs the ball to the opposition’s 22.

38.00: Another penalty after Jacques van Rooyen entered the maul from the side. Jantjies kicks to the corner. This is a big moment in the game because if the Lions don’t score, they will rue giving up three points and a lead.

39.00: TRY! Morné van den Berg darts over for his first Super Rugby Unlocked try of the season. The score came from another solid rolling maul. 13-10

40.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies, back on kicking duties, adds the extras. 15-10

The halftime score was Lions 15 Bulls 10

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back undwerway on the Highveld.

42.00: Marcel van der Merwe is on for Trevor Nyakane, who leaves the field with a neck injury.

43.00: Scrum-penalty to the Bulls. Steyn will take a shot.

44.00: PENALTY! He doesn’t miss those. 15-13

47.00: An attacking lineout for the Bulls inside the Lions’ 22 lead to yet another penalty. Whatever Jake white said to his team at halftime, it’s worked because his side is playing with urgency.

49.00: NO TRY! Marco van Staden knocked the ball on in the act of grounding. 15-13

50.00: TRY! Steyn went to the corner again, the Bulls lost their throw; however, Stedman Gans pick-pocketed Jantjies’ loose pass and scores next to the posts. 15-18

51.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 15-20

53.00: Another penalty from Orie gives the Bulls a chance to go to the corner.

55.00: Very lucky for the Lions because if the Bulls had scored, the game would be over. Instead, the visitors botch the lineout.

56.00: BIG SCRUM by the Bulls, winning the penalty. This time, after several penalties inside the 22, Duane Vermeulen opts for a shot at goal.

57.00: PENALTY! Steyn extends the lead to eight points. 15-23

61.00: MASSIVE SCRUM from the hosts this time, they win a penalty that Jantjies kicks to the corner.

63.00: Els is penalised for collapsing, the Lions will go again.

65.00: Superb defence by the visitors, who won possession from the lineout. The Lions counter-attacked but lost the ball forward.

66.00: TRY! It’s that man again! Wandisile Simelane finishes off a sensational deep counter-attack. Simelane slipped two tackles and stepped the last defender before showing off his moves. 20-23

67.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies closes the gap to one. 22-23

70.00: TRY! Kurt-Lee Arendse finishes off a sweeping move to increase his team’s lead. 22-28

72.00: CONVERSION! Steyn hits his kick true and through. 22-30

76.00: It’s all over for the Lions, but they can still claim a bonus-point if they get a score.

79.00: Penalty to the hosts, they will take a shot.

81.00: PENALTY! Jantjies saves his team a bonus-point, but the Bulls take the W and stay top.


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The final score is Lions 25 (15) Bulls 30 (10)


Tries – Odendaal, Van den Berg, Simelane
Pen – E. Jantjies (2)
Con – E. Jantjies (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – J. Van Zyl, Gans, Arendse
Pen – Steyn (2)
Con – Steyn (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen



15 Gianni Lombard; 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Courtnall Skosan; 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg; 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole

Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel


15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2. Joe van Zyl, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

Replacements: 16 Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren

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